It was discovered Wednesday morning that starting in Week 6, the USFL will fine players for uniform violations with the potential of issuing additional disciplinary actions that can include a suspension from the team.
The Information was shared on Twitter by New Orleans Breakers wide receiver Shawn Poindexter, who received a notice after their game on May 14th stating he’d violated the USFL’s uniform and equipment rules with the reasoning being,
“(d) Pants must be worn over the entire knee area; pants shortened or rolled up to meet the stockings above the knee are prohibited. No part of the pants may be cut away unless an appropriate gusset or other device is used to replace the removed material.”
The USFL’s official notice reads:
“The Uniform and Equipment Rules included in our Policies have been disseminated to every team. Our League officials, Head Coaches, team directors, and equipment staff have issued repeated verbal warnings to players both during the week and during pregame to no avail. Starting this weekend all players in violation of the uniform policy will be fined according to the fine schedule below.“
The cost of the fines will escalate for repeat violations:
- 1st violation – $250
- 2nd violation – $500
- 3rd violation – $1000
The statement mentions all money collected from these fines will be donated to designated charities in the Birmingham area.
While some may not view these fines as a big deal, this is a head-scratching decision from a league with many other things to worry about. Players on USFL active rosters are currently making $4,500 per week while being tasked with paying for their own food and housing in Birmingham, so getting a fine of $250-$1000 can be a pretty significant hit on their expenses, especially since a number of these guys have families they’re sending money home to as well.
For a league that seems to be making mainstream headlines for everything but their on-field product, one has to wonder where the priorities of the USFL genuinely lie if fining players for minor uniform violations is what they’re focused on right now.